Thoughts and challenges for Beginning Teachers

Welcome to this blog which will run right the way through this year, hopefully supporting you on your journey to becoming a great teacher.

I am the Director of Initial Teacher Education at the University of Nottingham and am really interested in the journey beginning teachers take and how they can be best supported through a challenging year.

In the early days of student teachers being with us we talk a lot about the complexities of learning to teach, the different types of knowledge you will be developing and the many expectations that will be placed on you over the coming months. What we know is that, right from the outset, we are asking you to: juggle ideas; work hard every day (and many evenings); gradually increase your teaching and, at the same time, step outside of the day to day and reflect and think about how your teacher identity and thoughts about teaching and learning are developing. Not an easy task.

At the end of the 2014-15 PGCE year, chatting to some students as they finished our PGCE course, I mused about whether it might be helpful to have some sort of ongoing dialogue, sitting apart from the day to day demands and inputs of teachers, schools, pupils and university tutors, that could drip feed ideas and thoughts throughout the year; a space beginning teachers could visit on a weekly basis that would support them to reflect on their week, identify things that they have learnt and plan for the next steps they need to take. The response from these students was a resounding yes so the idea was trialled the next year  and a blog was born.

My aim is to offer thoughts, ideas and challenges for you to mull over. When it feels appropriate, I might draw your attention to things you can look at or read but I will be careful not to overdo this as I know you are already bombarded with enough on that front!

I hope you enjoy the weekly insights and challenges and that this helps you as you navigate the coming year and develop as a teacher.

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